For leadership and directing our future today.
  A Leader in Education and Technology
Hello, and thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Christine Craig and I look forward to running as a Democrat For Monroe County Controller in PA for the House of Representatives. I believe my success in Fortune 500 companies and the skills I have developed over the past 20 years makes me the best candidate to represent the needs of the constituents in Washington DC.

My husband, Patrick LaPeter have been married for 17 years and moved down to East Stroudsburg in 2000 and fell in love with this beautiful area of Pennsylvania. During this time, Pat has volunteered with our local fire department for over 13 years and has achieved the rank of Captain of Fire Police. He has also been on the County Parks Commission and has worked for Middle Smithfield.

Since the 2016 elections I have seen our country stand divided as it has never been in modern history and I can no longer do nothing as we witness our rights and ethics be flushed away by this current administration. Washington is broken, Washington no longer reflects the true democracy our founding fathers so brilliantly conceived, that which makes America a truly great country and a beacon to the world that we believe in diversity, freedom of speech, families, and the right to pursue a future full of promise of a better life. However, this current administration has done its best to destroy all those things we hold dear and value.

I am a leader with an eye to our future, with plans to make the next generations competitive and live in a world that will be on the cutting edge of science and technology, not one living on glory days of years past. We must invest in our future, our children, education and take care of our senior citizens who have given their blood, sweat and tears for our country!

We Pennsylvanians in Monroe County need to prepare for that future so our children and grandchildren can have an equal chance to achieve their goals and dreams, bringing prosperity back to our region. I strongly believe that education and technology will lead to a better America, and is the driving force that will keep America the leader on the global platform. We need to adapt to the 21st century instead of turning back the hands of time that no longer reflect how our great mosaic of a nation has led the world since the First World War.

Teachers are the greatest asset we have to prepare our children for a global world, yet they are treated as babysitters. We are the only first world developed nation that does not provide daycare for working parents. Our school systems are ranked 14th in education and 24th in literacy out of the developed world. How does that make America great? College education now costs more than an average house in our region. Who can afford this?

Development in technology has now been ceded to the Chinese in windmill and solar powered renewable energy while this administration has focused on 18th century fossil fuel. Yes, Pennsylvania has coal, but one day it will run out. We need to invest in manufacturing new renewable science and technology so we can leave the next generation a cleaner world. Currently the US ranks 33rd in internet download speeds. We NEED development in infrastructure for our citizens to compete in this global economy.

But I can’t do this without your help. No matter what your political association, you have to see that Washington DC is not working for the average citizen. We need to change this right now! By voting for me I will do everything I can to gain grants for local fire departments and schools, to help counties fund growth and road systems, to lure industry back to our area, to fund county hospitals and build new hospitals so desperately needed in certain areas. I have a vision of growth to lure back young people and make Monroe County  a great place to raise a family with every opportunity to enhance our world.

I understand that change is often scary to people. I am not your traditional candidate. These times need a non-traditional candidate to flip this district blue! I believe in fiscal responsibility, that’s why I am so upset about the tax bill that was passed in late December. Who doesn’t want a tax break? But not at the expense of our children who will end up paying for the breaks big businesses got. I have a plan that will give all employees a $2000 annual increase no matter what size company you work for that will also give all companies incentives for tax breaks.

In order to pay for the $1.5 trillion dollar debt the Republicans have foisted on our shoulders they will cut education, social services, Medicare and social security, trading away our future. We have the highest administrative costs in the developed world. I have a plan to implement changes that WILL NOT affect these social services.

A vote for Christine Craig is a vote for our future. I am a leader in economics, accounting and understanding insurance. I have overseen billions of dollars in revenue and expenses, across this country. I have worked for the world’s largest insurance company and know the only thing they care about is the bottom line, profit, profit, profit. I want to make a difference in our future, and I believe my education and skills are what is needed to move our country in the right direction. These things are hard to do but I promise to work hard and listen to the people. I look forward to your support.

I would love to speak to your members about my plans for the future of Monroe County.  Contact me at www.christinecraigcampaign.com, like me on Facebook at Ccraig4pa7, or follow me on twitter at ccrag4pa7. You may also reach me at my email address of [email protected]
 
Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.
Meet Christine
My husband and I have been married almost 17 years and I am very proud of him. He’s been a volunteer with our local Fire Co for the past 13 years and is Captain of the Fire Police, he was also on the Monroe Co Parks Commission, and he has worked for Middle Smithfield Township.

While he was working locally I was commuting (like every one of my neighbors) to NJ traveling 132 miles daily to work for better pay. My day lasted 11 ½ hours, often spending up to 3 – 4 hours in traffic.

Almost three years ago we adopted Sweetie. She had been abandoned as a puppy, shot then sent to a high kill shelter in KY. We took her as soon as they amputated her back leg, and we are so happy to have her. She goes everywhere with us, in fact, she’s back at our hotel right now.

Now a little bit about me. I am a very private person. I had no Facebook account, not on LinkedIn, I love my husband, my house and my dog, and depending on the day, that order changes. So, for me to be actively seeking a seat in Congress I have to step out of my comfort zone and DO SOMETHING!  For the 2016 election, I stumped for Hilary Clinton in Scranton and Stroudsburg, and it was greatly disappointed she did not win. Since that day I have seen our beautiful Constitution trampled over, our rights eroded, such racism, malice and disrespect spewed from this administration, our leadership and standing around the world diminish while Republicans stand by and do nothing or worse, by supporting this administration with false conspiracy theories. And I can no longer stand by and do nothing! I am so thankful our founding fathers were so brilliant to create a democracy the world has admired and aspired to come to for the past 240 years. Now I see our democracy being turned into a banana republic. I am compelled to change our leadership, to put our country back on the right path of justice for all, to embrace diversity, and to leave our country in better place for the next 240 years.

What are my qualifications? I consider my best attribute is that I am NOT a lawyer! There are too many there now and look how broken DC is. I am an accountant by trade and profession, and for the last twenty years I have worked with Fortune 500 companies overseeing billions of dollars of revenue and spending, including budgeting process, and saving companies money by examining and streamlining services, while eliminating duplicate processes and consolidating providers. I have proven leadership qualities running teams accomplishing goals that had never been achieved before, and introducing new concepts to further employees’ skills to further their career. I was also the impetus to create a Women’s Forum at one of my companies where we discussed issues specifically related to women. Being an accountant is a very detail oriented profession.

I’ve read over thousands of leases and insurance policies to pick out the fine points, I’ve read both state and Federal tax codes, and I will tell you the Fed’s tax code is almost incomprehensible, even to IRS agents and CPA’s. As you can tell, I’ve led an exciting life.

I think my skills, experience and thoughtful policies for the 7th District make me a different type of candidate, and better able to lead the 7th District back to jobs, prosperity, better schools and badly needed infrastructure to keep current in the 21st century.

Republicans think poverty is due to your failure and laziness while Democrats think that lack of economic opportunities is to blame. I agree. That’s why we must provide benefits to single moms and working families to help better their economic standing.

■ Child Care
If the government really cared about our future it should consider child care as an integral and essential part of economic growth. Especially the fact that a large part of the working population is middle-aged makes it necessary that mothers with young children get the opportunity to participate in the economy and thus increase the economic wealth of the nation and their own emancipation.

Child care is used as a route to children who suffer from cultural and educational deprivation by working with programs such as Headstart. These programs are financed by the government and aim at fighting or preventing segregation within the peer groups. The method here is evidence-based and proves that the child prospers from the education that is offered. Cooperation with the national educational system is essential.

Federal government should work out teaching plans focusing on six themes: personal and social competences, language, body and motion, nature, and culture. In the teaching plans methods, activities and aims should be described. It is a part of the work of documentation of 0-6 year old children’s learning and development.

twin aims. One is to make it possible for parents to combine parenthood with employment or studies and the other is to support and encourage children’s development and learning and help them grow up under conditions that are conducive to their well-being. Proper care is seen as a prerequisite if the child is to feel happy and content, which in turn is a prerequisite for its ability to absorb knowledge and to progress in life. Ensuring the well-being of a child also has educational implications. Virtually all local authorities are now able to provide places at a preschool.

Businesses that offer on premise daycare should receive a tax break, as long as they adhere to Federal guidelines.

■ Education
:
Monroe County needs Federal funding for new equipment, infrastructure wi-fi, new playgrounds. We need to attract and cultivate talented teachers who dedicate their lives to our future. I believe teachers are the foundation we trust our children to, and they deserve quality pay. Educational standards have often been set by the Federal government such as No Child Left Behind. There were both positive and negative effects to this program, one of the biggest criticisms was the lack of Federal funding. In 2015 this act was changed to Every Student Succeeds Act which relegate standards to the states.


I believe there needs to be a standardized goal, with emphasis on STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, especially towards young girls. Our future world depends on advancements in these areas, and America should be a leading educator in these areas. Mathematics will become very important to determine complex algorithms for our internet based world. Scientists are needed to develop 

Our school year is currently based on 19th century habits and cultures. For our country to compete we need to implement school all year long, relieving working parents of what to do with their kids. This would also give teachers the time to teach in-depth classes to prepare our children to compete globally, or focus on arts, music, theater, or other activities that expose children to the wider world.

■ College Education
We must strive to encourage our children that success lies ahead in additional education. We need to find a way for vocational, colleges and universities to be more affordable for those who want to attend. The cost of college loans need to come down. We need to scientists to develop Quantum computers, a Senior Software Engineer makes about $130K annually, a Data Scientist makes $103K. In these fields graduates will be competing for jobs globally. Medicine, nursing, sports rehabilitation, and dentists will never be outsourced to foreign countries. Plumbers, electricians often make over $100k a year. It is our duty as parents and grandparents to ensure the next generations are ready and prepared for the future.

■ Federal Tax Cut
Who doesn’t want a tax cut? You may think this past bill will help the average family, and in some aspects, it does. But buyer beware! $1.5 TRLLION dollars was added to our national debt! The Republicans have always touted fiscal responsibility, and I believe in that. But with this bill the only way they can balance the budget is by cutting services, vital to our area, while leaving the burden of repaying the debt to our grandchildren.

Big companies had their tax bracket slashed from 37% down to 21%, was your tax liability slashed that much? I have spent the last twenty years working for Fortune 500 companies in their account departments and I know no corporation ever pays 37%. In fact, because of loopholes, companies often buy losses from other companies to add to their bottom line to lessen their tax liabilities. With multiyear carry forwards, depreciation, and stock manipulation, they often don’t pay much tax at all.

We need to roll back some of their cuts to 27% - 30%. All those bonuses awarded to their employees were great but had nothing to do with the tax break. Those companies already had the cash and could’ve awarded the bonuses at any time. CEO’s and senior management often get multi-million dollar bonuses, regardless of the tax cut. I’m sure they probably doubled their own bonuses along with stock buybacks to be awarded to the top executives. The disparate pay between CEOs and the average employee is over 340 times. Only in America!

I believe companies should be given tax breaks that benefit employees. Tax breaks for providing on premise subsidized daycare. Another tax break would give EVERY employee $2000 annually, help cut health insurance costs, and follow the employee should they change jobs. By giving every employee a $2000 health care account, to be used on health care expenses only, the employee doesn’t have to spend their own money to meet deductibles, etc. And if the employee doesn’t use his account it will build every year. This is a form of compensation the employee earns and can roll over to another account when they leave. Younger employees who don’t need as much medical attention will save yearly, and when they are older, they will have this fund to draw upon. And tax breaks for helping new graduates repay student loans through matching contributions.

■ Federal Services Cut to Pay for Tax Bill
The Federal government requires a balanced budget which means cuts to social services, such as health, welfare, social security, educational funding. Our current deficit is $440 billion. Its largest expenditures are Medicare and Medicaid ($1,060B or 28% of spending), Social Security ($910B or 24%), non-defense discretionary spending used to run federal Departments and Agencies ($600B or 16%), Defense Department ($585B or 15%), and interest ($240B or 6%).

What these figures bury are the administrative costs. Currently, America has the highest admin costs for health services, a staggering 24%! That means over $254 million is spent. We need to cut this expense down. Taiwan only spends 8% to administer services, I believe we can streamline this down without affecting services. The same can be done for all departments and military expenditures. I am proud that I have proven skills to reduce costs without affecting performance throughout my years in business.

On Monday, the stock market opened down despite the good news on jobs on Friday. Why? Because economists and traders know in order to pay for this tax bill the government will need to float a TRILLION DOLLARS in bonds. Interest rates are going up which will cause the government to pay more. Truly, it is a vicious cycle when we aren’t fiscally responsible. It’s like those who overspend then go to a Pay Day Loan lender at exorbitant rates, then need to go to another lender to pay for the first loan.

■ Health Care
I believe in both universal health care and for profit health insurance. Having worked for the world’s largest insurance company, their goal is to make as much profit as possible, give dividends to their shareholders and give multimillion dollar bonuses to their top executives. They don’t care about the services you need or require if it affects their bottom line. America is the definition of capitalism, but when it comes to you and your loved ones, they control your access to new and trial treatments.

Right now, the average cost to insure a family of 4 is approximately $1500 per month. I have watched this number skyrocket over the years. When an intravenous bag costs 58 cents to make and the hospital charges you $10, or $12 dollars per aspirin, it makes your head spin. For profit hospitals, for profit insurance companies are not what we need for affordable health care in America, the only first world nation that does not offer nationalized health coverage. No one in Europe, Japan, Taiwan or Canada declares bankruptcy due medical costs.

Business taxes along with a legislated percentage of personal income tax should be specifically dedicated to cover universal care. At one time companies offered health insurance as a benefit to lure good workers. Now let them offer private insurance if they wish, to cover selected upgrades and coverage.

To paraphrase Gandhi, ‘You can tell how great a country is by the way it takes care of its poor’. We need to take care of all our people, no matter their financial status. Winston Churchill once said “You can count on the Americans to do the right thing after they’ve exhausted every other possibility.” Over 60 years later we need to do the right thing.

■ Opioid Epidemic in America
Every day we hear about this crisis and how 64,000 people died in 2016. The number of deaths have increased over 540% since 2013. Major drug companies that are making billions of dollars are the major sources of opioids in the US. They know these drugs are addictive, they know these drugs affect the brain just like heroin, yet they bear no responsibilities for ending this crisis. Technically they are the world’s biggest dope dealers. They are the 21st century tobacco companies. At least 6 state attorney generals along with the Cherokee Nation have sued big pharma companies. Most settle for peanuts compared to the revenues generated.

Pain meds help chronic patients in the short run, however, studies indicate that long term users suffer pain more frequently and have a lower threshold. These drugs outlive their usefulness long after addiction occurs. Either these drugs need to be regulated by the government or big pharma needs to build rehab centers to cure the damage they have done.

The recent Budget Proposal calls for $6 billion to treat opioid addiction. This is just a drop in the bucket. We need to pharma companies to kick in.

■ Immigration
Fifty years before the first Thanksgiving held by the English Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians in Plymouth, Ma. Our country was settled by the Spanish, French, Dutch and Africans, in the fortress town of St Augustine, FL. A diversity that soon led to free slaves helped by the Native Americans.

I, for one, do not want my tax dollars spent on 5th century BC technology like a wall! This proposed wall is ethnically biased against citizens of Latin America only! Forty percent of illegal immigrants fly in and overstay our antiquated visa system. I believe in a diverse population that makes America beautiful. Legal immigration is important, as well as illegal immigration. Children who were brought here by their parents, known as Dreamers, have overwhelmingly added to our economy and education. In America, we do not penalize the children of criminals. If your mother or father robbed a bank, our justice system does not send you to jail! Why should these Dreamers be deported for the crimes of their parents? If they or their parents have proven to be law abiding citizens, they should become part of our beautiful mosaic.

We need to upgrade our security infrastructure, by starting with a new system to track visa expiration. Added technology such as drones, night vision goggles and sensors would better help our borders. We do have illegal drugs smuggled through Mexico, but we also have them come in by boat, planes, and now more recently through the US Postal Service with opiate drugs such as fentanyl ordered online and shipped from China. No wall is going to stop these shipments!

Our country was founded on diversity, which has enhanced my life with many of my friends from India, Africa, South Africa, Jamaica, practicing Muslims, Christian Palestinian, and everything in between. A diversity lottery encourages people of all races, faiths and ethnicity to blend into the American dream!

■ Infrastructure
Monroe County is in dire need of infrastructure renewal! Approximately 70% of our bridges are crumbling, Volunteer Fire Stations cannot use the “I am responding” feature on their cell phones because the current technology, VOIP and wi-fi has not kept current. Fiber optic technology for schools, municipalities and First Responders will offer faster speeds and lower taxes by unifying these services. Since the time I bought my house in 2000, we were promised a train that would leave from Scranton to New York City. That was 18 years ago and budgeting has never materialized. Commuters would benefit by saving wear and tear on their cars, saving on tolls, the earth benefits by not having thousands of cars on the roads, idling in traffic.

These efforts will create thousands of local jobs, benefiting the people of District 10.

It is my goal to make Monroe County a beautiful place to raise a family with a balanced work/life ratio that leaves time for families to enjoy wonderful parks, gorgeous vistas, mountains and geology that spans a billion years.
This race is going to cost about $1.5 million dollars, and last time I checked I didn’t have that in my wallet. I need your help with donations and fund raising as well.

This race is not about me, it is about you, the people and future of District 7 and our country. I want to hear your ideas of what issues are important to you. Thank you.

Vote Christine Craig!